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Theresa Napurrurla Ross / Flying Ant Dreaming (7A)

30cm x 30cm Acrylic on Canvas


SKU: 1334-19


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SKU: 1334-19 Category: Brand: . Artist:

Artwork is accompanied by Warlukurlangu Artists (Yuendumu) Art Centre Certificate of Authenticity/Provenance

Theresa Napurrurla Ross is the daughter of Peggy Morton but she was raised by Tess Napaljarri Ross, a full time artist with the Warlukurlangu Artists and her husband, Jack Jakamarra Ross (1992 – 2004), one of the founding artists of the art centre. Theresa grew up in Yuendumu, an Aboriginal settlement 290 kms north-west of Yuendumu. She attended Yuendumu High School and after leaving school Theresa married her husband and had two daughters, Kara and Michaela. Kara lives in Yuendumu and also paints regularly for the art centre.

Theresa has been working with Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation located in Yuendumu, since 2005. She consistently paints her Pamapardu Jukurrpa (Flying Ant Dreaming) from her father’s side. As a young girl she would sit with Jack Ross and watch him paint his dreaming stories, in particular, his Pamapardu Jukurrpa which he passed down to her. These Dreamings relate directly to the land, its features and the plants and animals that inhabit it.

At one time Theresa worked at Yuendumu School doing administration work and when there was a bank at Yuendumu, she also worked there. When young she enjoyed playing softball and basketball but these days she likes to paint and play with her grandchildren.


This painting depicts the Flying Ant Dreaming from Wapurtali, west of Yuendumu. ‘Pamapardu’ is the Warlpiri name for the flying ants or termites that build the large anthills found throughout Warlpiri country. This country belongs to Nakamarra/Napurrurla women and Jakamarra/Jupurrurla men. ‘Pamapardu’ are flying ants. They build earth mounds (‘mingkirri’) that are common in the Tanami area. When heavy rains come in summer the ‘mingkirri’ get flooded out, so the ‘pamapardu’ grow wings and fly off to make new homes, following their queens to dry mounds or to build anew. When they have found their new home they drop their wings. In this stage they can be collected, lightly cooked in coals and eaten. As they fall to the ground women collect them to eat because they are nice and sweet. In this painting Maria has depicted the flowers and landscape found around the areas where the flying ants are found.

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